The Baltic Circle festivals have been organized in Helsinki since 2000, starting from 2007 annually. The festivals showcase the newest trends in contemporary theatre and serve as an important meeting place and networking platform for theatre professionals.

  • What is the idea of the project?
    Since 1996, the Baltic Circle project has promoted intercultural exchange, primarily in the Baltic Sea region. The International Theatre Festival Baltic Circle takes place every November in Helsinki, both in theatre venues and on sites in the city. It does artist exchange, drama translations and international co-productions. European level cultural projects play important parts in the general plan, too. It functions in the context of European contemporary theatre and performing arts, and focuses on bringing the artistic communities of the Baltic and Nordic countries together. The festival is a ground for developing new trends and ideas.
    Alexandra Pirici: "Turning Monument" © Tani Simberg

    The theatre festival is a project that develops together with its environment, whereby change is inherent to the nature of the festival. Baltic Circle supports the artists’ mobility and international collaboration. Together with its artists, Baltic Circle takes the stage art forward and takes an active role in both international cultural exchange and in the field of Finnish performing arts.

    Baltic Circle brings contemporary international performances to Finland and brings new local talent to the fore, too. It is a community in which artists and the audiences can engage in discussion, raise questions and find new perspectives on the arts and the surrounding world. Apart from that, it is a meeting point for artists and audiences as well as an international performing arts laboratory. It is a community which offers artists space and time to experiment and try out new approaches. Baltic Circle is the launch point for artistic exploration as well as a context for presenting its results. The festival is a work of art that takes a stance and challenges its participants to engage in dialogue.

  • Who is the target group?

    The Baltic Circle is dedicated to curious spectators and performing artists. There are about 1500 to 3000 visitors and participants at the festival each year.

  • Next edition of the project

    The next edition will take place from 15th to 20th November 2016.

  • Project partners

    Baltic Circle collaborates with focal European and local theatre festivals and production centres. The festival organizes training programmes, seminars, workshops as well as discussions and actively participates in public debates on contemporary theatre practice. Baltic Circle commissions and co-produces new work, locally and internationally. Together with HIAP – Helsinki International Artist-in-residence Programme – and Kiasma Theatre, Baltic Circle has initiated a residency project for the contemporary theatre and the performing arts, which is the first of its kind in Finland.


"ARS BALTICA is not a bureaucratic construction for political posturing, but a concept that stands for unconventional and committed collaboration in real cooperative projects." (Rainer Haarmann, former ARS BALTICA Coordinator, 1997)


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Key Facts

  • start of the project in 1996
  • accredited with the ARS BALTICA logo since 2007
  • located at Helsinki (Finland)
  • countries involved in the project are: Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Italy, Belarus, Armenia, Finland


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New Baltic Dance

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Baltic Circle: Maija Hirvanen-"Days Without Names" © Tani Simberg